The City Council yesterday unanimously passed City Council Member Mark Treyger’s (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) recently introduced legislation – Intro 1720-A – to create a Hurricane Sandy Recovery Task Force that would analyze and assess recovery efforts by City agencies, and produce a report with recommendations for improving resiliency and natural disaster preparedness.
Under the measure, the Task Force would meet regularly and be responsible for the production of a report analyzing the city’s recovery efforts in response to Hurricane Sandy, including housing recovery, the damage incurred to public and private property and the city’s efforts to repair such property.
It would also detail how the City conducted outreach efforts including the City’s efforts to promote language access, the provision of legal services and case management, workforce development programs, the role of non-profit organizations in the aftermath of the storm, the availability of fully-stocked shelters accessible to people with disabilities, and health and hospitals funding and recovery.
“It has been nearly five years since the worst storm in our city’s history devastated our coastal communities and changed the lives of thousands of New Yorkers ,” said Treyger. “For many across the city, the memories of Sandy’s devastation are still fresh in our minds. Lest anyone has forgotten, however, we have all been freshly reminded by what we have witnessed recently in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Our thoughts are with all of those Americans, and many from those communities have turned to us, seeking advice and guidance based on our experiences.”
The Task Force’s report would also provide recommendations for building resiliency and improving preparedness against future natural disasters, including guidance on enhancing recovery case management and communication tools, standards for land use and neighborhood planning, housing design standards, proposed regulatory changes, damage assessments, and the implementation of immediate housing recovery programs.
According to the legislation, the Task Force would consist of 15 members, including representatives from relevant City agencies. The bill also requires that the Task Force’s membership include a representative from each of the city’s five boroughs.
Treyger said while the Sandy recovery has not been without its setbacks and challenges, they have also afforded the city an opportunity to gain valuable insight on what went right and what we can do better.
“This legislation will help create a comprehensive, holistic understanding of our recovery process so we can develop a blueprint to guide us and our fellow Americans in the much-needed effort to become more resilient and better prepared to face natural disasters. I would like to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and my colleagues for their support,” said Treyger.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the measure into law.